SXSW: March 13 2023

My entire morning was spent in Ballroom D, which typically has largest and most interesting sessions. After all that sitting, I visited more booths in the Creative Industries Expo—more baklava may have been consumed—and walked around outside to enjoy the sunny spring day. Eventually I made my way over to Zach Scott for a documentary about my idol, Mary Tyler Moore.

Crushing: The Burden of Diabetes on Patients with Nick Jonas

This five-person panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Thomas Grace, Directory of Blanchard Valley Diabetes Center. Jake Leach is COO of Dexcom, which makes glucose monitors. Nick Jonas, introduced as “a proud dad and global superstar,” was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 13. Pastor Mireya Martinez is a Type 2 diabetic who uses insulin. Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod is running for Denver Mayor. Nick was easily the most famous of the bunch.

By 2050, the US is projected to have 75 million diabetics. One of four Medicare dollars are spent managing diabetes. Nick and Mireya talked about having to manage their glucose levels 24-hours per day. Wearable Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) are now covered by Medicare. Advice from Mireya for diabetics: “You as a human being are beloved. Those numbers are just numbers.” Some states still do not include CGMs in their Medicaid coverage. According to a Dexcom study, CGMs save the health care system $300-400 per month per person. Data from CGMs can be shared with your family. 

Turning the Tables on Tim Ferris

Popular podcaster Tim Ferris was interviewed by Bill Gurley. Tim is the author of The Four Hour Workweek. He was an angel investor with small $10K and sweat equity investments in companies such as Uber, Shopify, Duolingo, Facebook, and Twitter. His rule was to invest in something that addresses a personal need. Tim has now backed away from angel investing, partly because the game is harder now. 

Tim started a blog in 2006, published his book and spoke at SXSW in 2007, and started his podcast, The Tim Ferris Show, in 2014. His advice for starting a podcast: interview your family, choose your format wisely, and don’t monetize for a while. Other podcasts that Tim admires: Hard Core History and How I Built This. He thinks the best Twitter function is being able to send DMs. 

Music by Brighde Chaimbeul

Keynote: Tilda Swinton

Tilda was pleased with last night’s Oscar Best Picture selection, Everything Everywhere All at Once, which premiered at last year’s SXSW. She prefers to be called a performer instead of an actor. “Sometimes you get somebody else’s great good fortune, and you have to recycle it for your own purposes.” She stars in Problemista, which screens at SXSW this week.

Becoming Mary Tyler Moore

James Adolphus directed this comprehensive documentary about the famous actor. Producer Lena Waithe said that she had not watched The Dick Van Dyke Show nor The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but only knew that MTM was a part of her mother’s life and mentioned in a Weezer song. MTM’s third husband, Dr. Robert Levine, was also a producer and attended the screening. 

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